Through @ 2: Necessary Evil... Troy Nelson and Mackenzie Mercer of the Young Evils

Lance Mercer
The Young Evils will play the Crocodile this Friday, November 26. Show's at 8pm, tickets are $10.
The situation: I'm sitting upstairs at a noisy Hazlewood on a Monday night with Troy Nelson and his girlfriend and bandmate Mackenzie Mercer, professionally known as the indie-pop duo The Young Evils.

Intoxication: I'm having my usual Strongbow; Nelson and Mercer are both carefully sipping red wine.

"We're just coming off a four-day bender," says Nelson. "Mackenzie won $300 dollars at a poker game."

"I can buy my family Christmas presents!" Mercer adds.

How They Got Here: To make ends meet, Mercer (whose father is the acclaimed rock photographer Lance Mercer) bartends and waits tables at the Skylark, not far from the couple's apartment in West Seattle, while Nelson's a KEXP DJ (his show airs on Friday nights). He's also worked at the Easy Street Records in Queen Anne for eight years; he's in charge of local consignments.

"I get about three or four bands a day bringing me their new albums," he says. "I'm pretty lenient, because I want to give everyone a fair chance. I mean, if someone brings one in that's wrapped in saran wrap with permanent marker scribbled on it, and they want me to sell it, I just can't."

Shop Talk: Nelson and Mercer were friends and co-workers at Easy Street when Nelson began thinking about the Young Evils.

"I had the idea in my head; it was almost an art concept. I was thinking two-minute songs, guy/girl vocals, as catchy as I could make them. I was thinking of the Violent Femmes, the Vaselines and the Magnetic Fields. If all three of those bands had a baby, it might sound like this," he explains. "I needed a girl vocalist, and one day [Mackenzie] walked by me singing this Heart song. The lyric was perfect."

"It's, 'You love me like music/I'll be your song,'" says Mercer.

"I was like, 'You can sing? Why didn't you tell me?'," says Nelson.

Now the duo's debut release, the ultra-catchy Enchanted Chapel, is a top seller at Easy Street, and Nelson says he's already got another album's worth of "darker" material written, which they plan on recording sometime this month.

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